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Saxons beat Hartwick to move into Empire 8 Conference lead
10/10/09

ALFRED, NY — The Alfred University football team beat visiting Hartwick, 42-17, Saturday afternoon at Merrill Field.

With the win, AU improves to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Empire 8 play. Combined with Ithaca’s 40-17 loss to St. John Fisher Saturday, The Saxons move to the top of the conference standings, a half-game ahead Fisher.

Alfred led 35-10 at the half and was never threatened, despite turning the ball over a season-high five times. AU got 203 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns from senior tailback Vinson Hendrix (Rochester, NY/East) and the Saxon defense held Hartwick’s high-powered offense to 276 yards, 170 below its average.

AU scored on its first possession, driving 58 yards in three plays after a Hartwick punt, with Hendrix scampering in from five yards out just 2:28 into the contest. After a Hartwick field goal with just over 10 minutes left in the quarter made it 7-3, Alfred scored two straight touchdowns to go up 21-3. Senior wideout Jared Manzer (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City) caught a five-yard TD pass from sophomore quarterback Tom Secky (Bemus Point, NY/Maple Grove) to cap a six-play 59-yard drive with 4:18 left in the opening quarter. Then, with 10:46 left in the second, Secky connected with junior tight end D.J. Loughlin Pope (Corning, NY/Corning East) on a 14-yard scoring play that ended a seven-play 61-yard drive.

Hartwick’s Brian Radley threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Noah Koreman midway through the quarter to draw the Hawks to within 11, at 21-10, but Alfred answered with a pair of touchdowns, the second coming with eight seconds left in the half, to take a 35-10 lead at intermission.

Secky threw a five-yard TD pass to senior fullback Andrew Small (Jamestown, NY/Jamestown) with 4:17 left in the half to make it 28-10. The Saxons got the ball back on a Hartwick fumble at the 34-yard line with 2:18 left and marched 66 yards in eight plays. Hendrix scored on a 10-yard pass from Secky just before halftime to give the Saxons the 35-10 advantage.

After a scoreless third period, the teams traded touchdowns over the final 15 minutes to account for the game’s final scoring. Koreman caught his second TD pass from Radley, from 23 yards out with 11:54 left, to make it 35-17 before sophomore linebacker Nick Clark (Canisteo, NY/Canisteo-Greenwood) powered in from two yards out with 1:59 left, capping a nine-play 60-yard drive.

Alfred’s offense produced a balanced 498 yards, with 232 coming on the ground, as Hendrix topped the 100-yard rushing mark for the fifth straight game. Secky completed 22 of 30 passes for 266 yards and two interceptions to go with four touchdown passes. Manzer caught eight passes for 107 yards and a touchdown and junior wideout Ryan Thon (Victor, NY/Victor) caught six passes for 68 yards. Freshman tailback Chris Lopez (Rochester, NY/Pittsford Sutherland) spelled Hendrix in the fourth and finished with 54 yards rushing on eight carries.
Koreman caught eight passes for 129 yards and two TDs and Radley completed 17 of 38 passing attempts for 218 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Tailback Tosh DeMulder ran for a team-best 63 yards, 43 yards under his season average.

Sophomore cornerback Roland O’Brien (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls), sophomore linebacker Wes Smith (Turbotville, PA/Muncy) and senior Marc Mangovski (Kirkville, NY/East Syracuse-Minoa) each had six tackles to pace the Saxon defense. O’Brien had an interception and Manzer, who played as an extra defensive back for most of the game, had two tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. Junior linebacker Chad Pieri (LeRoy, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) had five tackles, a half-sack and a pair of pass deflections.

Cornerback Nick Gonzalez had 10 tackles (eight solo), a forced fumble and an interception to pace the Hartwick defense. Linebacker Jordan Spirou had 11 tackles and a fumble recovery; tackle Tim Martin had six tackles, including two for loss and a fumble recovery; and safety Ben Zarzycki had eight tackles and an interception.

Alfred is idle next weekend and returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 1 p.m. for a key Empire 8 matchup at St. John Fisher.